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Kankou Kankou
Album: Kuma
Label: Canary Row
Tracks: 10

A strikingly gentle voice mixed with some fine tunes. What is disturbing is that whilst the sound is rather charming the content (translated) is a stark contrast, in addition to some lighter content there is also the highlighting of struggles and inequalities experienced in Mali. Whilst saddening it does make the listen even more exquisite.

Standout tracks include Kuma, Obadaya and Dimi and I do happen to have a soft spot for harmonica, so Bin is another ear catching tune.

The misleadingly beautiful tunes hide such lyrics as:
"Be careful with words....Man dies, but what his words say remain."
"Don't use guns, that causes too much loss of lives! Struggle instead for the strength of family."
"In Mali we dance, we sing, there's joy and celebration."
"When someone angers you, don't go into battle to seek revenge."

Wise words.

Kankou Kouyate and Mark Mulholland have blended the African and western styles together creating a very calming and listenable album.

Andy Evans